Advertisement

Digital Games as Ethical Technologies

  • Miguel Sicart
Chapter
Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 7)

Abstract

What are the values of an object? How can philosophy illuminate the inherent rhetorical, social, political and moral meanings inscribed in any designed technology? And how can we do this without falling in the intentional fallacy, ascribing all responsibility to the designer? Because, as design researcher Nigel Cross has stated, “design is rhetorical […] in the sense that the designer, in constructing a design proposal, constructs a particular kind of argument, in which a final conclusion is developed and evaluated as it develops against both known goals and previously unsuspected implications” (Cross 2007, p. 51). In this chapter I will look at game design and how it is used to create ethical experiences, only I will not start from the perspective of the designer, but of the finished product as experienced by a user. In this sense, I am extending the rhetorical analysis of design proposed by Cross, and suggesting a way of understanding the ways in which design conveys meaning.

Keywords

Computer Game Game Design Ethical Technology Digital Game Ethical Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References – Literature

  1. Aarseth, Espen. 2005. Doors and perception: Fiction vs. simulation in games. Paper presented at the Digital Arts and Culture, IT University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, Craig A., and Brad J. Bushman. 2001. Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, psychological arousal, and prosocial behavior: A meta-analytic review of the scientific literature. Psychological Science 12(5): 353–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, Craig A., and Karen E. Dill. 2000. Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior in the laboratory and in life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 78(4): 772–790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Audi, Robert (ed.). 1999. The Cambridge dictionary of philosophy, 2nd ed. Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bateman, Chris, and Richard Boon. 2006. XXI century game design. Hingham: Charles River Media.Google Scholar
  6. Bogost, Ian. 2006. Unit operations. An approach to videogame criticism. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bogost, Ian. 2007. Persuasive games. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  8. Brey, Philip. 2000a. Method in computer ethics: Towards a multi-level interdisciplinary approach. Ethics and Information Technology 2(3): 1–5.Google Scholar
  9. Brey, Philip. 2000b. Disclosive computer ethics. Computers and Society 30(4): 10–16.Google Scholar
  10. Bushman, Brad J., and L.Rowell Huesman. 2000. Effects of televised violence on aggression. In Handbook of children and the media, ed. Dorothy G. Singer and Jerome L. Singer. Newbury park: Sage.Google Scholar
  11. Caillois, Roger. 2001. Man, play and games. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar
  12. Church, Doug. 2006. Formal abstract design tools. In The game design reader. A rules of play anthology, ed. Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman, 366–380. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Consalvo, Mia. 2005. Rule sets, cheating, and magic circles: Studying games and ethics. International Review of Information Ethics 4: 7–12.Google Scholar
  14. Cross, Nigel. 2007. Designerly ways of knowing. Berlin: Birkhäuser Verlag.Google Scholar
  15. DeKoven, Bernie. 2002. The well-played game. A playful path to wholeness. San Jose: Writer’s Club Press.Google Scholar
  16. Eco, Umberto. 1979. A theory of semiotics. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Endresen, Inger M., and Dan Olweus. 2005. Participation in power sports and antisocial involvement in preadolescent and adolescent boys. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 46(5): 468–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Floridi, Luciano. 1999. Information ethics: On the philosophical foundation of computer ethics. Ethics an Information Technology 1: 37–56.Google Scholar
  19. Floridi, Luciano. 2003a. On the intrinsic value of information objects and the infosphere. Ethics and Information Technology 4(4): 287–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Floridi, Luciano. 2003b. Two approaches to the philosophy of information. Minds and Machines 13: 459–469.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Floridi, Luciano. 2004. The method of abstraction. In Yearbook of the artificial: Nature, culture and technology, vol. II, 177–220. Bern: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  22. Floridi, Luciano, and Jeff Sanders. 2004. Levellism and the method of abstraction. In Information ethics group research report. Available at http://web2.comlab.ox.ac.uk/oucl/research/areas/ieg/research_reports/ieg_rr221104.pdf. Accessed 26 Mar 2008.
  23. Floridi, Luciano, and Jeff W. Sanders. 2005. Internet ethics: The constructionist values of homo poieticus. In The impact of the internet in our moral lives, ed. R. Cavalier. New York: SUNY.Google Scholar
  24. Funk, Jeanne B., Heidi B. Baldacci, Tracie Pasold, and Jennifer Baumgardner. 2004. Violence exposure in real-life, video games, television, movies, and the Internet: Is there desensitization? Journal of Adolescence 27: 23–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Greco, Gian Maria, Gianluca Paronitti, Matteo Turilli, and Luciano Floridi. 2005. The philosophy of information – A methodological point of view. In WM2005: Professional knowledge management, experiences and visions, ed. Klaus-Dieter Althoff, Andreas Dengel, Ralph Bergmann, Markus Nick, and Thomas Roth-Berghofer, 563–570. Kaiserlautern: DFKI GmbH. Available online at http://www.philosophyofinformation.net/pdf/tpoiampov.pdf.Google Scholar
  26. Heide Smith, Jonas. 2006. Plans and purposes. How videogame goals shape player behavior. IT University of Copenhagen, Decemeber 7, 2006. Available at http://jonassmith.dk/weblog/wp-content/dissertation1-0.pdf. Accessed 9 Dec 2010.
  27. Heidegger, Martin. 1977. The question concerning technology and other essays. Trans. William Lovitt. London: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  28. Heidegger, Martin. 1988. The basic problems of phenomenology. Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Horkheimer, Max, and Theodor Adorno. 1997. Dialectic of enlightenment. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  30. Ihde, Don. 1990. Technology and the lifeworld. From garden to earth. Bloomington/Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Ihde, Don. 1993. Postphenomenology. Essays in the postmodern context. Evanston: NorthWestern University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Järvinen, Aki. 2008. Games without frontiers: Theories and methods for game studies and design. Tampere: Tampere University Press. Available at http://acta.uta.fi/english/teos.phtml?11046. Accessed 26 Mar 2008.Google Scholar
  33. Juul, Jesper. 2005. Half real. Videogames between real rules and fictional worlds. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  34. Juul, Jesper. 2007. A certain level of abstraction. In Conference paper at the third Digital Games Research Association Conference, Tokyo, Japan. Available at http://www.jesperjuul.net/text/acertainlevel/.
  35. McCormick, Matt. 2001. Is it wrong to play violent video games? Ethics an Information Technology 3: 277–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. 2002. Phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Murray, Janet. 1998. Hamlet on the holodeck: The future of narrative in cyberspace. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  38. Norman, Donald. 2002. The design of everyday things. New York: Basic Books/Perseus.Google Scholar
  39. Penny, Simon. 2004. Representation, enaction, and the ethics of simulation. In First person new media as story, performance, and game, ed. Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan, 73–84. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  40. Reynolds, Ren. 2002. Playing a “Good” game: A philosophical approach to understanding the morality of games. Available from http://www.igda.org/articles/rreynoldsethics.php.
  41. Rollings, Andrew, and Ernst Adams. 2003. On game design. Indianapolis: New Riders.Google Scholar
  42. Rouse III, Richard. 2005. Game design theory and practice. Plano: Wordware Publishing Inc.Google Scholar
  43. Salen, Katie, and Eric Zimmerman. 2003. Rules of play – Game design fundamentals. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  44. Simon, Herbert A. 1981. The sciences of the artificial. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  45. Suits, Bernard. 1978. The grasshopper. Games, life and Utopia. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  46. Takahashi, Dean. 2004. Ethics of game design. Game Developer’s Magazine, December 2004.Google Scholar
  47. Turing, A.M., 1936-1937. On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungs problem. Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society s2-42: 230–265; correction ibid., s2-43 (1936): 544–546 (1937).Google Scholar
  48. Verbeek, Peter-Paul. 2005. What things do. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Weisfeld, Matt. 2000. The object oriented thought process. Indianapolis: Sams.Google Scholar
  50. Wiener, Norbert. 1965. Cybernetics: Or control and communication in the animal and the machine. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

References – Games

  1. K Boston/2K Australia. 2007. Bioshock. 2K Games.Google Scholar
  2. Bioware. 2003. Knights of the Old Republic. LucasArts.Google Scholar
  3. Lionhead Studios. 2004. Fable. Microsoft Game Studios.Google Scholar
  4. Newsgaming.com. 2003. September 12 th. http://Newsgaming.com.
  5. Rockstar North. 2008. Grand Theft Auto IV. Take-Two Interactive.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Computer Games ResearchIT University of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations